Okay, I go on some dates in Tbilisi...
Let's just say I've been on my fair share of first dates in Tbilisi.
I tend to find Georgian men confusing, unreliable, unpredictable, and mostly just interested in hooking up with a foreigner. That being said, I know some amazing Georgian men as well, but unfortunately my love life in Tbilisi has tended to arc away from those people...which probably has much more to do with how messed up I am and not so much to do with anyone else...
but anyway, enough about me! Due to my experiences dating in Tbilisi with varying degrees of success, I have compiled a list of date ideas for couples in the Georgian capital!
Some of these have come from personal experience, some from friends' and some I just made up...if anyone wants to test them out, give me a call ;)
For First Dates...
- If you're looking to impress your gogo (girl), a speedy drive in your 1998 BMW is always a good bet. Try going up to Turtle Lake, lots of hills to demonstrate your manual gear shift prowess (I should really not write posts about dating anymore, I am getting way too sassy...but actually Turtle Lake/Kus Tba is a lovely spot! You can stroll around the lake, get a bite to eat, and enjoy the sunset over the water).
- A really WOW experience is to take the cable car from Dzveli Tbilisi (old town) up the mountain to Narikala/Kartlis Deda. There are amazing views from here, and you can walk back down and stop at a bar or restaurant on the way - this is best for those new to Tbilisi who have not done this before
- Sample some traditional Georgian food - try the upstairs outdoor balcony at Samikitino/Machakhela in Old Tbilisi for a touristy spot but with incredible views. Another adorable cafe with jaw dropping views is 144 Stairs.
- Old Tbilisi at dusk is exceedingly romantic. After an early dinner, wander through the backstreets, listening to the sounds of children playing and grandmothers shuffling around in their yard slippers, sneak a first kiss under an ivy-laced balcony.
- Crisp tsinandali wine and a cheese plate at Moulin Electric on Leselidze/Kote Apkhazi St., then a stroll to the "hidden" waterfall in Abanotubani
- Drive up to an overlook point near Didi Dighomi, lay in the grass and look out at the lights of the city for miles around
- Watch a movie at one of your house's... (this is really creative, I know - spice it up with a bottle of Georgian wine).
- For a warm summer afternoon, Tbilisi Sea is a fun (and free!) place to go have a picnic, swim a few laps, or work on your tan
- Snag an ice cream from Luca Polare (less budget) or a mini-market (very budget), and walk down Rustaveli. Make sure to stop at the overlook at the Radisson Blu for spectacular city views
- Explore the flea markets! Dry Bridge, Lilo Plaza, and Dezerter Bazaar each have their own flair. You don't have to buy anything, though bartering can be pretty fun!
- Have a picnic in: Vake Park, 9 April Park, Dedaena Park, or that other shady, grassy space next to Freedom Square metro
- Botanical Gardens! This is a beautiful place to take cover from the summer heat, and there is a waterfall here as well. Last time I checked, it only cost 2 lari per person to enter - come on, you can afford that.
- Bathtime at Abanotubani - you can rent a private room in the evening, bring some beers and snacks and enjoy an hour or so of soaking and pampering together
- Catch a flick at the Rustaveli/Amirani movie theater, and afterwards wander over to Hangar Bar (expat hangout) or Dive Bar (you can have a drink or just play a game of checkers!) for a night cap
- Take the Funicular up to Mtatsminda, where you can play carnival games, ride the Ferris wheel, or have dinner at one of the best restaurants in Tbilisi
- Go to a shopping mall - here there is air conditioning, which, at this moment, seems very appealing to me. You can try Tbilisi Mall, East Point Mall, or, coming sometime soon-ish, Galleria Tbilisi
- Try one of Tbilisi's fanciest restaurants...my personal favorite is Barbarestan (their live music Saturday night would make the perfect foundation for a proposal...hint hint future husband who I hope is reading this in 4-7 years).
- A trip to an Aquapark is a flirty and playful way to stay cool! I recommend Gino Paradise
- There are several lovely outdoor restaurants in Mtskheta that aren't too far to drive for dinner - just keep in mind that someone has to be the designated driver!
- The charming Kakhetian town of Sighnaghi is less than a two hour drive away. Due to it's 24/7 wedding registration office, Sighnaghi is known at the city of love.
- Or skip the Sighnaghi city center, and do a tour of the lovely wineries in the Kakheti region - a sample tour...an organized package like this is good if you don't have a car!